If you’re like most small business owners, from time to time you might feel like screaming out, wanting to get someone to notice the challenge you’re going through. Yet at the same time, you want to appear strong and in control of your business.
Yep… Been there.
Small Business Owners Unite! Let’s take a stand and vow to help each other. Wouldn’t you like a fellow small business owner to give you the benefit of the doubt? Aren’t you prepared to do the same?
Tribes aren’t Only for Sport
I love sports. If you’ve ever read anything from me before, you’ll recognise that I am a Sharks Tragic, #upupcronulla and #sharksforever and all that. You may not be and probably don’t give a rat’s about league or even the sharks. That’s OK. It doesn’t stop us being on the same team in other areas of our lives.
The point is, sport brings out our tribal instincts, it’s my tribe against THEM, whoever ‘them’ is today. I was at last year’s Grand Final, the atmosphere of the day was amazing, amplified by the fact that sharks fans rarely get much to celebrate together and the collegiality of the day and the hope in the air was truly uplifting. I caught up with people I hadn’t seen for close to years and connected through the season with others that were distant associates, all of a sudden we had something in common.
We were more connected.
A Small Business Owner Belongs to a Special Tribe
A tribe is a lot like family. Not everyone has to agree all the time, and not everyone wants to get involved all the time. That’s OK. It doesn’t mean that member doesn’t belong. They just might need some space.
As a traditional small business owner (rather than a start-up that doesn’t want to be a small business for more than three minutes), your circumstances are unique. However, your challenges are common.
Cashflow, attracting clients, the balancing act, getting noticed in a crowded marketplace, even the stress and anxiety of it all… although all brought on by your unique circumstances, the challenges are real and similar to those of the others who call themselves small business owners too.
Our problems and challenges are similar and won’t be solved by glib slogans or mantras repeated from the demigods of business. What would the demigods of business remember about the challenge of needing more clients, of cash flow struggles and of struggling to find enough time for clients, for marketing and for balancing the books, then fitting in family and friends as well?
As a small business owner, you’ve joined a tribe of stubborn, persistent and mostly optimistic individuals with a passion for what they do.
What could Be if We Started to Identify More as a Tribe?
Like my increased connection following on from one fateful season culminating in a grand final victory, I have colleagues that were barely known prior with whom I now have rousing conversations. It’s stats with our common shared passion but can easily flow onto other interests.
How could your business improve by supporting other small business owners? Imagine if prospects made a conscious choice to work with and to use local small businesses first.
With over 411,000 (Access Economics) small businesses in Queensland imagine the opportunity available for you to work just in the small business sector?
The club is huge!
Working Together to Form a Stronger Ecosystem
Over the last three years, we’ve built the “Brisbane Small Business” community on Facebook fuelled with a passion for helping small business owners identify as a community, and for doing more business together. To eliminate the loneliness of small business, giving members somewhere to go and share the challenges and successes.
.My passion was to create a safe place for business owners to get help and be helped and with over 4300 members we’ve accomplished that.
Every week there are many offers of “can someone recommend a… [insert profession here]”. So we know there is plenty of work being transacted between the members and I’m proud of that.
The Next Steps
As we approach 5,000 members, I’ve been exploring some options to see how we can continue to help each other and be a stronger community. How we can encourage more of the businesses within the group to work with group members.
Recently the members expressed an interest in offline training and we’ll explore how we can do that. I feel the ability to provide simple solutions to the everyday issues of being a small business owner is at the heart of how we can add the greatest value.
We’re looking to help members stand out, to display their value and to provide a marketplace alongside this group, to avoid the spamfest that most small business forums become.
If you think you may like to be involved as a founding member, focus on how you help solve the problems and challenges of other small business owners and they’ll be opportunities for you to do so.
Pre-register your interest by sending me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be back in touch soon.